I’d always thought of Lamborghini as a company that crafted upscale Italian luxury sport cars. In my wildest dreams I never imagined they were manufacturers of farm equipment.
So I was very surprised late one afternoon while strolling through the medieval village of Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud in France’s lovely Loire Valley, to come across this tractor in a farm yard at the outskirts of the town which bore the very distinctive Lamborghini trademark. Could it really be that Lamborghini had to abandon cars and start making tractors? Looking at the evidence in front of my eyes the answer seemed obvious but I needed to know a little more.
Seems that company’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, had an agricultural background. His first company manufactured tractors (post WWII using spare war parts) and was very successful. By the mid-1950s, Lamborghini’s tractor company was one of the largest agricultural equipment manufacturers in Italy, and also made air conditioning and heating equipment.
Lamborghini’s wealth accumulated and, like many rich men, he pursued his passion for cars and began to collect them. He thought he could built the best cars himself so in the 1960s the company ventured into the auto manufacturing business. The company has had its ups and downs, but still has a reputation for producing one of the most expensive and best engineered cars in the world. It serves a very boutique market, in 2011 making less than 1800 cars.
So it’s not that Lamborghini has had to “stoop” to making tractors. It moved to cars from tractors, which makes a lot of sense to me.
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